One thousand Dignity Kits are ready to send to women around the world suffering from obstetric fistula thanks to the help of about three dozen Direct Relief Women volunteers who packed the kits Friday at Direct Relief headquarters in honor of International Women’s Day – March 8.
Volunteer Molly Green came with her daughter and said it was very special for them to celebrate International Women’s Day together as empowering women and girls is a passion they share.
“Direct Relief has always been near and dear to our hearts and we’re so impressed with the work that [Direct Relief] does and the impact it has on the world,” said Green.
Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged and obstructed labor that, if untreated, leaves women with constant and uncontrollable leakage of urine and/or feces. In addition to physical injuries, many women with fistula suffer humiliation, isolation, and stigma as a result of the smell and constant leakage.
The condition can often be repaired with surgery, but many women who are eligible for surgery are placed on a waiting list. Sometimes it can take weeks and possibly even months for the women who have been identified as candidates to receive the repair surgery.
That’s why Direct Relief developed the Dignity Kits – a type of care pack for women who are awaiting obstetric fistula surgery. The kits contain cleansing spray, soap, moisturizer, maternity pads, cleansing wipes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a notepad.
These items were made available with generous donations from 3M, Covidien, Henry Schein, Neutrogena, Sappo Hill Soapworks, and individuals.
Each kit is valued at about $30 each. To support Direct Relief’s maternal and child health programs, you can make a donation here.